Iowa History Timeline: Text Version

 


B.C.E. = Before Common Era
C.E. = Common Era
100:
U.S. Event

Humans Along Mississippi

The Hopewell culture developed along the upper Mississippi.

Find out about early cultures in Iowa.

300:
World Event

Ptolemy Explains the Universe

Greek astronomer Ptolemy explained the concept of an Earth-centered universe.


595:
World Event

Decimals Are Used

Mathematicians in India began using the decimal system.


800:
Iowa Event

Corn Comes to Iowa

Corn was introduced to Iowa cultures.

Find out more about the first farmers

868:
World Event

Books in China

The Chinese use wood blocks to print books.


900:
World Event

Mayans Disappear

The Mayan culture disappears.

Find out about early cultures in Iowa.

900:
Iowa Event

Oneota Culture

The Oneota people lived and farmed in Iowa and are thought to be descendents of the Ioway Indians.

Find out more about the Oneota Culture in Iowa.

900-1300:
Iowa Event

Great Oasis Culture


900-1300:
Iowa Event

Glenwood Culture

The Glenwood Culture occupied Iowa.

Find out more about the Glenwood culture in Iowa.

970:
World Event

First University

One of the world's first universities was built in Egypt.

Find out about Iowa's first colleges.

Top

986:
World Event

Vikings in Greenland

A Viking explorer named Eric the Red set up a colony in Greenland.

Find out about early explorers in Iowa.

1000:
Iowa Event

Mill Creek Culture

The Mill Creek lived in Iowa for hundreds of years, but were gone before the Europeans came in the late 1600s.

Find out more about the Mill Creek Culture in Iowa.

1215:
World Event

Magna Carta

The Magna Carta is signed in England.


1325:
U.S. Event

Kachina Art in the Southwest

The Kachina culture flourished in present-day southwestern United States. Artistic masks and dolls were created.

Find out about artists in Iowa.

1492:
U.S. Event

Columbus to America

Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain to America.


1576:
World Event

First Theater

The first commercial theater opened in London.

Find out about arts and culture in Iowa.

1595:
World Event

Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare wrote the great love story, Romeo and Juliet.

Find out about arts and culture in Iowa.

1607:
World Event

Italy is Music Center

Venice was considered one of the greatest musical centers of Europe.

Find out about arts and culture in Iowa.

1609:
World Event

Galileo Proves Sun as Center

Galileo proved the sun was the center of the universe.


1620:
U.S. Event

Pilgrims to America

The Pilgrims sail to America on the ship, the Mayflower.

Find out about other immigrants.

Top

1636:
U.S. Event

First College

Harvard College was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was the first colonial institution of higher learning.

Find out about Iowa's first colleges.

1647:
U.S. Event

America's First Schools

The Massachusetts Bay Colony required each town of 50 or more families to have a school. The schools that taught reading and writing were called grammar schools. Schools that prepared boys for college were called Latin schools.

Find out about Iowa's first school.

1660:
World Event

First Women Performers

Women appeared for the first time in plays in England and France. Previously male performers dressed as women in performances.

Find out about arts and culture in Iowa.

1673:
Iowa Event

Jolliet and Marquette Explore Future Iowa

Louis Jolliet and Pere Jacques Marquette were the first known Europeans to discover the land that would become Iowa. In 1673 Louis Jolliet led a crew down the Fox River from Lake Michigan. They crossed over to the Wisconsin River and sailed southwest into uncharted territory. Father Marquette, a Catholic priest who accompanied the expedition, kept a diary. On June 17 he recorded that the group reached the mouth of the Wisconsin River where it flowed into the Mississippi. Across the river were high bluffs covered with heavy forests. Today that site includes Pike's Peak State Park near the town of McGregor.

Find out more about Iowa's early European explorers.

1673:
Iowa Event

First Catholic Mass in Iowa

In June Father Jacques Marquette stopped on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River and offered a Catholic Mass.

Find out more about religion in Iowa.

Late 1600s:
Iowa Event

Europeans come to Iowa

European trappers, traders and explorers came to the area that became Iowa.

Find out more about European trappers, traders and explorers in Iowa.

1682:
Iowa Event

La Salle Claims the Mississippi River for France

Rene-Robert Cavelier La Salle claimed the land in the Mississippi River valley, including Iowa and most of North America, for the King of France. LaSalle explored the Mississippi River from its mouth and claimed the river and all land drained by it for the King of France. The area was known as Louisiana after King Louis XIV of France.

Find out more about Iowa's early European explorers.

1700s:
World Event

The Industrial Revolution Begins

The Industrial Revolution began in England.

Find out about the manufacturing industry in Iowa.

1700s:
Iowa Event

Mesquakies Trade Lead

The Mesquakie Indians living in the area that became Iowa traded lead ore with French and English traders.

Find out more about lead mining in Iowa.

1700-1840:
U.S. Event

British and French Explore America

British and French explorers came to America searching for riches and resources.

Find out more about the fur trade in Iowa.

Top

1730:
U.S. Event

Africans Become Slaves

Thousands of Africans are captured and shipped to the American colonies as slaves.


1754-60:
U.S. Event

French and Indian War

War between France and Britain. Fought over land in America. The French Empire in North America came to an end as a result of the war. Britain got control of all the land east of the Mississippi River and all lands of present-day Canada.


1755:
World Event

First Dictionary

The first English language dictionary was published by Samuel Johnson. It took him nine years to write it.


1762:
Iowa Event

Future Iowa Owned by Spain

The King of France transferred the claim to the Mississippi River valley to the King of Spain during the Seven Years' War, usually known in the United States as the French and Indian War. This was done to prevent the land from being claimed by England, against whom the war was being fought.

Find out more about Iowa's early exploration.

1766:
U.S. Event

First Theater in America

The first theater building in America was built in Philadelphia.

Find out about the arts in Iowa.

1775:
World Event

First Toilets

The first flush toilets were invented.


1775:
U.S. Event

American Revolution Began

The first battles of the American Revolution, the battles of Lexington and Concord, touched off eight years of war between the American colonists and Britain.


1776:
U.S. Event

Declaration of Independence

American colonists declared their independence from Britain.




Questions to Consider:
When viewing information in the timeline, consider the following questions:

  • What time in history did this event occur? What else was happening at that time?
  • What events led to this event? What events followed it? Does this event begin or end something? Is this event part of a sequence of other events?
  • How did this event influence the present? How might it influence our future?


 

Sources:
Several entries for this timeline were adapted from Prairie Voices Iowa Heritage Curriculum, Annotated Iowa History Timeline, State Historical Society of Iowa, 1995. Used with permission.

Additional Sources:

  • Agriculture in the Classroom: Growing a Nation: The Story of American Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture.
  • Discovering Historic Iowa Transportation Milestones, Iowa Department of Transportation, 2000.
  • Downey, Mathew T. American History 1 and 2. Chicago: McGraw-Hill, 2006.
  • History and Life: The World and Its People. Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1980.
  • Keenan, Sheila. Scholastic Encyclopedia of Women in the United States. New York: Scholastic Reference, 1996.
  • National Standards for History, UCLA National Center for History in the Schools, 1996.
  • Randy Lyon, This Month In Iowa History, State Historical Society of Iowa.
  • The Challenge of Freedom. River Forest, Illinois: Laidlaw Brothers, 1982.
  • William Kovarik, Ph.D., Environmental History Timeline, Radford University,
  • World Adventures in Time and Place. New York: Macmillan McGraw-Hill, 1997.

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